If you are a UK citizen, something that you have definitely noticed is that our shelves have been a bit bare recently. You may have noticed a lack of meats and a lack of basic things like pasta and cake ingredients. Now, you would have thought with all of this noticeable shortage in stores, people would return to the covid routine of panic buying.
Though we had a few days of people being slightly unsure and picking up extra things just in case, we, fortunately, didn’t revert back to our panic buying ways. The main reason that this was the case is that we quickly learned that we are not dealing with a food shortage at all, we are instead dealing with an HGV shortage.
Now, this does not mean that all of our HGVs have decided to give in and break down all at the same time, as they are perfectly functional, we just don’t have anyone to drive them.
Something that really shook the media was the events that occurred last Christmas within the UK. At the height of the pandemic, there was a lot of horrible uncertainty when it came to the opening and closing of the borders. This meant that one day a country would be available to enter and then the next day it would be closed.
This created an issue when just days before Christmas, the borders to France closed. This meant that a lot of drivers were forced to try and rush back through the border so that they could see their families on Christmas day. Drivers were stranded on roads leading up to the border with no access to facilities and nowhere but their vans to sleep. Some of the more unlucky ones, unfortunately, missed Christmas, which was absolutely devastating.
The events that occurred was a real wake up call that the drivers were being mistreated and many drivers made the decision to leave the industry in pursuit of something much more secure. This means that there was a very sudden decrease in drivers in the country and a lot of companies have struggled due to this.
There has been no sign at all of the people deciding to rejoin the industry and so businesses have had to get a little bit more creative when finding solutions. Here is how the UK is dealing with the current HGV shortage.
Retraining Existing Drivers
A way in which businesses have been trying to combat the current shortage is by retraining some of the drivers that they already have. Companies tend to have a lot of drivers that operate forklifts and small vans.
Instead of struggling to re-employ someone to do drive their vans, companies are instead offering some very appealing incentives to try and encourage people to take a promotion. When it comes to things like forklift driving, you don’t really need a professional driver to do that and so if you have someone with the right driving qualification operating the forklift, you are simply wasting the resources that you have.
Because people don’t necessarily need a specific license to be able to operate a forklift, you can replace a lot of the small vehicles that you use with forklifts. If you are someone that is considering making this shift, there are plenty of used electric forklifts for sale online, so you can make the transition easily and without breaking the bank.
They are buying local
One of the main reasons that we are so dependent on HGV drivers is because they are willing to travel across countries in order to source the items that we need to sell in our stores. A great way in which companies have been relinquishing this need is by buying locally, locally sourced food and products are much easier to transport through the country and do not require the use of one very large vehicle, as it being local means that having to take a few trips to get the products is much more reasonable.
Shopping locally is very beneficial to our local economy and so making this shift may truly be a benefit in disguise and it may improve the financial security of our company.